Health Practicalities of Living

Forest Bathing – Why You Need to do This

June 17, 2019
forest bathing
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I have never been a very athletic person. My favorite P.E. classes were folk dancing and badminton. I once almost brained my P.E. teacher with a golf club that I lost a grip on.

My brother and sister, on the other hand, have always been very physically active. The only small place where our lives may have a chance to connect in this area is the art of hiking, a special love of my sister’s. I have to say that the one hike that I went on with her I also enjoyed a lot, so there is hope for change there.

The biggest challenge I face right now is how to hike with a walker. My goal after my next surgery to fix the aneurysm in my brain is to ditch the walker and learn to hike. In case you are unable to ditch the walker, check out these action track chairs! http://actiontrackchair.com/ and terrain hoppers https://www.terrainhopperusa.com/ http://outdoorextrememobility.com/beach-powered-wheelchair-the-beach-cruiser

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Which is why the concept of forest bathing is so compelling to me. Why do I want to shower in the woods? Well, that is not quite what forest bathing is.

Wikipedia refers to it as this: “Nature therapy, sometimes referred to as ecotherapy, describes a broad group of techniques or treatments with the intention of improving an individual’s mental or physical health, specifically with an individual’s presence within nature or outdoor surroundings. One example of a nature therapy is forest bathing or shinrin-yoku, a practice that combines a range of exercises and tasks in an outdoor environment. Garden therapy, horticultural therapy, Kneipp therapy or even ocean therapy may also be viewed as forms of nature therapy. “

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

WebMD has this to say, “Critics often scoff that research about the practice is lacking, but there is growing scientific evidence that getting outside in a natural setting is good for mind-body health. And this back-to-nature movement isn’t confined to forest therapy. Some medical doctors have trained to become forest therapy guides. Other health care providers are connecting their patients to nature in other ways. An Ohio cardiologist, frustrated that he couldn’t convince his patients to exercise, founded Walk with a Doc in 2005, which now has 500 chapters. A Washington, D.C., pediatrician writes prescriptions for his patients to go to the park — as do the more than 300 doctors and other health care providers who have signed on to his Park Rx America program.” https://www.webmd.com/balance/news/20190611/forest-bathing-nature-time-hot-health-advice

Forest Bathing
Photo by Marc Pell on Unsplash

Here are some benefits to forest bathing: it reduces your stress, improves your mood, frees up your creativity, boosts your immune system, reduces your high blood pressure and accelerates your recovery from illness. Sounds like an all around win-win to me!

If you would like to read more about it, you can check out this Kindle book on Amazon: (yes, I do get a small fee if you buy it from this link!)

I hope this motivates you to get out and do a little forest bathing one way or another in the woods, at the beach or in your garden and don’t forget to TURN YOUR PHONE OFF!

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